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UN agency, African Union in joint effort to woo more youth into agriculture

By Moses Omusolo - April 19th 2022
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) coordinator Joy Nkoitoi presents vegetable sim-law seeds and pesticide control chemicals to Alex Kirehu as the Kiambu county project coordinator Purity Mbabu looks on in Tigoni, Kiambu county October 6, 2020. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) have developed a blueprint for governments to boost the participation of youth in the agricultural value chain.

The new strategies captured in the Investment Guidelines for Youth in Agrifood Systems in Africa were launched at the just concluded 32nd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa held last week in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The guidelines target entities leading or engaged in the design and implementation of investment programmes related to sustainable agrifood systems.

These include governments, financial and technical partners and national and international organisations as well as the private sector and the youth.

"It is envisaged that these guidelines will provide young people with concrete direction on becoming both co-designers and beneficiaries of those programmes. They may also be used when reviewing national agricultural investment plans and other strategic frameworks related to agriculture and food systems," said FAO and the AU Commission on the guidelines

Africa has the highest percentage of youth in the world estimated at 420 million young people aged between 15 and 35 years, with the continent's share of rural youth projected to rise to 37 per cent by 2050.

The growing population is also projected to triple domestic food demand in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050. In 2014, the African Union heads of State had committed to a set of tangible agriculture goals to be attained by 2025.

These included the creation of job opportunities for at least 30 per cent of the youth in agricultural value chains.   

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